I am very blessed to have a husband who is a devout Catholic. However, this has not lead to us agreeing about material goods as much as I would have hoped.
Of course, as we prep for Christmas, this particular monster has reared it’s head again, so I’m looking for advice on managing it. Here goes.
I am certainly not a person who is ready to run off to the woods and live off the land. I like my TV and internet, enjoy a good cup of chai, and consume way more than my fair share of the of the world’s resources. But in a duel effort to save dollars and instill strong values in our child (some day children, God willing), I would prefer to minimize purchases to necessities and a few, well thought out luxuries. This is a big task for me, as I was raised in a consumer culture and like to get STUFF.
On the other hand, talking with my DH about this only results in arguements. He loves to buy books, stop buy coffee shops several times a week, and eats fast food for breakfast and lunch (and dinner if I’m out of town). Just the other day, he told me he “had” to buy a nice hanger to put his coat on at work. No matter that we have dozens of extra hangers. When I asked why, he said “Because I do” and walked away. From a budget standpoint, we can usually manage this stuff, and when we stick to our budget, he cuts back for a while. But then the holidays come. And, no matter how lovely the scarf, blanket, or picture I want to make for his mother or sister, he insists on spending at least $30 (usually more like $50) on a store gift. When I suggested 3 gifts from us and one from Santa for Christmas this year for our son, he said that wouldn’t do. He remembers the whole living room full of presents and wants that for our kids too.
So what do I do here? He says he doesn’t want our children to be THING focused, but his actions and statements about gifts contradict that. How do I go about this conversation? Any good books/websites?